Hospital backs guard accused of killing patient

by: Ross Cavitt Updated:

ATLANTA,None - A metro Atlanta hospital is standing behind a security guard who is charged in connection with the death of a patient.

WellStar Cobb Hospital security guard Jerry Evans is charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct after a skirmish with a patient that left the man dead.

Cobb County police filed the charges against Evans after a three-month investigation. Evans was released from the Cobb County Jail on a $20,000 bond Monday morning.

Evans confronted William West, 57, in his room on Aug. 6 when an intoxicated West became unruly, hospital officials told Channel 2’s Ross Cavitt.  Evans pushed West, who fell backward and hit his head.

“Mr. Evans pushed with both hands to get him off of him. When he did, he apparently slipped and struck his head on something metallic, or metal in nature, and was deceased there on the spot,” Defense Attorney Vic Reynolds told Cavitt.

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WellStar Cobb Hospital is backing Evans and even helped him hire an attorney. Hospital officials say surveillance video of the incident will clear Evans.

“We believe in the end it will show this man was aggressive that evening, (and) came toward Mr. Evans,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said he hopes a grand jury will not indict Evans in the case.

"We have a great deal of respect for the Police Department and understand their job but we believe in this case and in the end Mr. Evans' actions will be justified," he said.

An arrest warrant obtained by Cavitt said Evans “consciously disregarded a substantial and unjustifiable risk” in the scuffle. Acquaintances of West told Cavitt he was in the Austell Road hospital often and often caused trouble.

WellStar Health System said in a statement sent to Cavitt that after an internal and external review of the incident they found no evidence of wrongdoing and Evans will remain employed by the hospital.

Evans' attorney said the guard lost a second security job he held because of the charges.


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